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Gemma Walsh (BComm (European) with Italian, 2004)
'I moved over to London in October and was temping until March while looking for a permanent job. To be honest I didn't really put in much of an effort until February, and then in March I found a really great recruitment company who helped me get this job. I am in the finance department of an advertising company in Knightsbridge, and with the job I get a study package so I am going to study for the CIMA accounting exams. I have been here just over two months and really like it, although it is a bit weird to think I am in a proper full time job—no three month break this summer!!!
'I think having done Italian and had the year away really helped me to get the job because they were really interested in it in the interviews. A few weeks after I started we had an Italian auditor in who didn't have very good English, and who had studied for his degree in Siena, so it was great to be able to use my Italian!' (May 2005)
'If you know of any commerce graduates who are looking for work in London, the agency I went through are very keen to meet more people from our college who are looking for jobs in finance.' (July 2005)
Eimear O'Callaghan (BComm (European) with Italian, 2004)
'Eimear here, from last year's Commerce group. Sorry it has taken me so long to write, I have been very busy here in Milan on my EOP placement.
'Allora...where do I start?
'First, I would highly recommend the EOP programme for all graduates. Although commerce is a bonus, having the language skills is the key advantage for this programme. Once I succeeded in gaining a place on the IBEC shortlist, job offers were literally thrown at me. There was such a shortage of Italian speakers that the interviews turned into the companies trying to convince me to pick them, as opposed to me trying to convince them to pick me! I attended three interviews in July, and was offered the three jobs, each company being keen to develop their Italian market. In the end I picked Cooley Distillery, based in Dundalk, with their Italian distributors S.I.L.V.A Spa. based in Milan. (I have since met a guy in Florence, who started the programme in February. His company were paying €5,000 for him to do an intensive Italian course, as there were no Italian speakers left on the EOP list!)
'I am the Italian Brand Ambassador for Cooley Whiskey, based in the Milan office. My tasks include formulating a marketing plan to achieve Cooley's marketing objectives, creating a marketing budget and achieving sales targets, implementing promotions, educating SILVA sales force and sourcing new business areas. It is a very challenging role. I spent the first month in the Dundalk office learning everything and anything there is to know about whiskey, production processes, the Italian consumption trends etc. Then I set off for Milan, where I am presently based in our distributors' office.
'I had to create a 5-year marketing plan for the Italian market, as well as Advertising and Promotional budgets. I spend half my time in the office, writing up reports, adjusting budgets, and translating articles for promotional use and magazines. I also recently translated the SILVA website, together with one of my Italian colleagues. The rest of my time is spent travelling around Italy, visiting SILVA sales representatives and their clients with the aim of developing new customers and sales contracts. I am also responsible for organising and holding Whiskey tasting events.
'And that's about it really. I had been offered to stay on in this position after my EOP year ends in August, but I have declined it as I want to return to Cork for a bit.' (June 2005)